New Hoover Book And Video Series On American Exceptionalism

Monday, July 9, 2018
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

A new Hoover Institution Press book, American Exceptionalism in a New Era: Rebuilding the Foundation of Freedom and Prosperity, explores the ideas that have made this country a strong and prosperous nation with a unique role in the world.

A suite of related digital media products, including a series of short videos and audio podcasts, are included in this book launch.

American Exceptionalism is a collection of thirteen essays edited by Thomas W. Gilligan, the Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution, that explores how the concept of American exceptionalism makes this country and its policies different and arguably better than those of other nations.

The authors show how the core values of exceptionalism—individuality and economic freedom—have directly led to America’s global leadership and prosperity. With this in mind, American Exceptionalism tackles three key questions: Is America different from other countries in ways that are good; what are the sources of American exceptionalism; and is American exceptionalism in decline?

The four-part video series, America’s Exceptional Economy, features Hoover Senior Fellow Edward Lazear expanding upon his chapter in the book to discuss America’s economic principles that have given us two centuries of prosperity, and how to renew these ideas in the twenty-first century.

The book also examines immigration, education, size of government, regulation, tax rates, and social mobility. Perspectives of thinkers like Alexis de Tocqueville, Abraham Lincoln, Herbert Hoover, and Ronald Reagan—each of whom considered America fundamentally different from other nations—are also included.

In conclusion, the authors collectively argue that the United States must continue to believe in itself as exceptional and indispensable, or else face a world where this country no longer sets the standard. The latter scenario, they noted, posing dire consequences for America, both at home and abroad.

Hoover scholars contributing to the 192-page book include Annelise Anderson, John Cochrane, William Damon, Niall Ferguson, Stephen Haber, Victor Davis Hanson, Edward P. Lazear, Gary Libecap, Michael McConnell, George H. Nash, Lee Ohanian, Paul E. Peterson, and Kori Schake. Most of their chapters are also available as audio podcasts and can be found in the related talks.

The book was spurred by the Hoover Institution’s Fall 2016 semiannual retreat that was organized around the topic of American exceptionalism. The presentations and discussions that comprise such Hoover retreats reflect the institution’s mission, which is to generate policy ideas that promote prosperity, peace, and freedom in America and elsewhere.

Gilligan, a scholar in economics and political science, has worked as a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House and served in the United States Air Force.

For more information and to purchase American Exceptionalism in a New Era: Rebuilding the Foundation of Freedom and Prosperity visit For more information on the Hoover Institution, visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Scribd (keyword: Hoover Institution).

About the Hoover Institution: The Hoover Institution, Stanford University, is a public policy research center devoted to the advanced study of economics, politics, history, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs. With its eminent scholars and world-renowned Library & Archives, the Hoover Institution seeks to improve the human condition by advancing ideas that promote economic opportunity and prosperity and secure and safeguard peace for America and all mankind.


To view more from this series click here.


Clifton B. Parker, the Hoover Institution: 650.498.5204, cbparker [at]

Related Videos

Based on the chapter by Hoover Senior Fellow Edward Lazear, Examining America’s Exceptional Economy is a 4-part video series that explores why the American economy has prospered and what needs to be done to sustain its prominence in the global economy.

America's Exceptional Economy (Episode 1)

America's Exceptional Work Ethic (Episode 2)

America's Exceptional Labor Force (Episode 3)

Sustaining America's Exceptional Economy (Episode 4)